Meal Planning in the Face of Change

So as I write this, I’m waiting to hear news about a legal issue involving one of my friends that has life-changing implications. Will the judge hand down a ruling and end it promptly? Will the lawyers drag it out? So many variables hang in the air for this hot wet mess. I can’t say anything else, except that I wait the long wait with her in spirit.

It’s not unlike waiting for test results for potentially serious issues. I’m too far removed from the situation to do anything except send Reiki and keep some incense going, but am still less than thrilled for her. 

Knowing that I will make myself crazy if I dwell on her situation, I distracted myself, writing some bits for a newsletter. Lunch was balanced: salad and a little chocolate. So many times it’s not the change in and of itself that is crazy making; it’s the space before it happens that leads to the pit of what thens and what ifs.

In these times, yes, you still need to eat mostly healthy stuff. One of my wise women said it best: “Eat two big salads a day and don’t worry about the rest.” Everything that you shouldn’t be putting on a salad is fair game. Go for it. It will help take your mind off of it, whatever it is. 




Uhh….Not So Much….

So last week I did something I hadn’t done before: I ate at a hip-and-trendy celebrity-owned restaurant.

Usually, I don’t eat at places like that. While I am relatively demanding and don’t mind paying for quality, I do arrive with high expectations. I have been delighted with many not-so-hip-and-trendy places, such as a couple of very memorable dinners in a 500-year-old inn in Montreal’s old town that didn’t get the press a couple of other places had in the guidebooks.

I went with a friend who returns to teaching in too-few weeks. We did a walking tour of the Loop’s landmarks, and we went to the Merchandise Mart to look at some of the displays. Then we went to the celebrity-owned Mexican restaurant that was the  the end point of our quest a few blocks north of the train station.

For me, the wheels came off when we stepped inside the small, dark, crowded dining area. The intense purple walls and dramatic Mexican artwork shrank it further. And loud. Very loud. Every other word being “WHAT?” “SORRY, COULDN’T HEAR YOU!” loud.

The waiter, though, was pleasant. He walked us through the menu after the usual “would you like some chips and guacamole” routine. (At those prices for chips and guac, the  celebrity owner had better bring his yoga-toned tush out to the table and mix it up himself for us.) 

My friend chose tacos; I chose some tostadas. She was happy. Me? I liked the salad with the pumpkin seed vinaigrette, but the tostadas, not so much. Perhaps it’s a lack of sophistication about Mexican cuisine on my part, but it came across as very bland and too cute. Three tiny corn tortillas topped with refried black beans, chicken, avocado slices and crumbled cojita. It wasn’t bad, but just really bland.

I realize that authentic Mexican cuisine is not about adding enough chili to make flames shoot from the diner’s bodily orifices. I also realize that I have a higher than average tolerance for heat because of the seasoning adjustments Dad made due to his salt-free diet. But this was just really bland. And the presentation was too cute for me. I tried spiking it with the bottle of hot sauce on the table, but that didn’t work very well.

But the salad was fantastic. The company and conversation couldn’t be beat. The iced tea was very refreshing.  

I can say that I ate there.

And I never have to do it again. 


Food and the Solo Female

ImageI’m flying solo at the moment. Hubby is out of town, getting his mom’s house ready to go on the market. 

Well, not 100% solo. Oakley is at my side, ready to pat killer rabbits into submission. His meals are uncomplicated: some meat, sweet potato, a dollop of goat-gurt, perhaps a few biskies. He’s using my right arm as a pillow; please forgive any errors.

My meals run on the simple side, usually. I do grab a little takeout here and there, and have some prepared meals on hand. Or salad. I love salads, preferable the kind where you think, “Yum, yum! I’m being healthy and eating a salad!” even though you’re consuming as many calories as a burger.  I make dishes like French toast or chicken with lemon and green olives, ones that Hubby doesn’t care for much. He’ll eat them under protest.

But no protest is to be heard at the moment.   

When Oakley wakes up, I’ll make a salad with chicken and other yummy stuff for lunch. Nuts will add a little crunch. Not sure which dressing. But yummy it will be.